tv Americas News Headquarters FOX News January 21, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EST
this is a fox news alert. moment of truth for the gop candidates, this is the state's first primary underway at this hour. hello. good afternoon on a saturday. i'm martha mccallum. welcome to a new hour. >> bill: it's a good saturday. i'm bill hemmer. third race of this nomination, you see romney and gingrich, the field is smaller but the jabs are getting sharper. romney and gingrich taking aim at each other as they head into today's primary locked in a dead heat.
how will this turn out? we're coming down on to the wire. carl cameron is live in colombia south carolina. you are in the state's capital, is there anything the candidates can do to change minds? >> reporter: not necessarily to change minds but getting people to the polls absolutely. they look like they have to be working it hard. they is stunts on election day particularly in south carolina where they are lovers of baseball. in this particular case. gingrich and romney were scheduled to go at tommy's hangout. that was certainly symbolic, greenville and upstate is where the conservative votes are. gingrich needs a strong turnout to have a successful evening and come out on top tonight.
romney went there, when they found out a scheduling conflict at precisely the same time, they said they would go there and have the intersection of the two campaign trains. if there was collision, so be it. mitt romney came in early and got out 15 minutes before gingrich showed up. and first thing out of his mouth where is mitt. i thought we would have a debate today is not only the primary, 15th anniversary of the day that newt gingrich was the first speaker in history for an ethics violation. they sent him a cake. a lot of symbolism before the hours the polls open. >> bill: carl, where do the votes come from, as you canvas the 46 counties in south carolina. what will that tell us throughout the evening? >> reporter: they are going to come from underneath an umbrella. it's been down pouring very hard
all over the upstate. there has been some sun along the sea coast but for the most part, it's been very wet. turnout is somewhat in question. state officials were expecting 470,000 votes. that wouldn't be a record but a pretty good turnout. geographically really does matter. low country is considered more moderate. where mccain did very well in 2008. she backing mitt romney and done a lot work for him. look for mitt romney for a big vote in myrtle beach. upstate, spartanburg and greenville, those counties combined make one in five votes across south carolina and big conservative could lilgsz that newt gingrich has been working hard to get. one quick note, the group redeem the vote, youth christians sent out an e-mail on behalf of newt gingrich this week 1.4 million
south carolinians received it and quarter of a mill than of them and took action in response. that 'may signal for more of a win behind gingrich. >> bill: there was a split of evangelical vote and gingrich and sarndz four years later. what about ron paul. there is talk that he could surprise the vote. if so where could he score today? >> if he comes in third place. he will have best ted rick santorum. that will be tough news for the pennsylvania ex-senator who needs to have a strong showing in order to keep his fund-raising and the impression of viability. ron paul has a strong organization. he hasn't campaigned here aggressively this week. he had to vote against raising the debt ceiling in washington. his day time rallies were sparse but couple nighttime ones shows
he can bring them out. if he pulls in third place. he stick in there. santorum says it's good for republicans to have a lengthy debate. only people want it over are essentially mitt romney, hoping he can run the table and get three. still plenty of time to get the vote out. don't forget romney has nikki haley on his side and gingrich has the house speaker on his side. it's an inside baseball proxy fight between those two political leaders. >> bill: carl cameron. a little perspective on what is happening in in south carolina. two significant developments over that stated. poorest state in the u.s. unemployment is just under 10%. those collecting unemployment is seeing smaller checks in the
jobless. south carolina ranking 45 out of 50 in the average amount of paid out $1235 a week. neil cavuto and anger of your world with neil cavuto. how are you doing. i mentioned two significant developments i think in south carolina. since the last time americans voted, one is the employment rate. that state has been battered much more than iowa where you have caucus at about 5.5%. this 10% is a blowout number. let's comment on that first. economy issue number one, is it not? >> it is. i think most significant of those numbers that you mentioned prior is the fact they haven't changed. if anything, essentially for the unemployment rate to still be
what it was when the president assumed office, obviously bothers a lot of folks in this state. there are lot of states like that. where the unemployment rate is at or the level at when the president assumed office. remember the president has said that it's trend, things are picking up. 212 straight months of job growth. for many states, there about 14 states in particular, many of them in the south. south carolina prominent among them, where it has not happened. they make a big batch of electoral so votes but you almost automatically lose because things have not improved. the jury is still out but you do not want that going into reelection and not able to show people in your state you 0 have seen improvement because they have not. >> bill: the counties along the coast. they have been battered by the real estate market. home values have dropped and dropped.
they have not come back. it's similar what we're going to see in florida. that state is at 10%. they did a poll in december, more than half said government spending is a major issue for them. that brings in the second part of this equation. that is the growth of the tea party in south carolina. how do you see that playing today? >> to crunch it a little bit for you, i think it's hard to say because the tea party is amorphous organization, homogenerous and lock in step all the way. there are elements of the tea party that is like a compromise of spending issues, those that say get rid of a tax credit, let's not equivalent to hiking taxes. more conservative elements say, no. you do that you are raising taxes. we're not going to do it. tea party must like the bigger parties like, democratic party
even though tea party is part of it. it's not a homogenerous group. there is progress among those in the tea party in south carolina who much like those that voted for mitt romney in new hampshire might hold their nose on some of the less red meat less than conservative credentials but he they think he has bets shot of winning even though he doesn't march along the same conservative line. others say, well, look, we have a problem with that. these are the forces battling it out in this state. >> bill: two areas to watch with tea party, greenville which is jim de minute's territory. >> very conservative. >> bill: and midland section. colombia, south carolina a lot of conservatives there. we'll watching you, too.
kneel is covering the primary on fox business network. he will be joined by don imus and others. we'll talk to you later. >> also we want to talk about the fact since 1980, no republican has gone on to become the party's presidential nominee without clinching the primary that happens tonight. a pawmetto state win could cement him as front-runner but with the polls this week not leaning in mitt romney's direction,. we saw newt gingrich make amazing moves in the last 72 hours, many voters are predicting it's going to be very tight tonight. >> i can't say who is going to win but.... >> frankly i tell you i voted for mitt romney. i was very concerned about the very negative calls, ugly things he said. i don't like to hear the
ugliness of any of it. that was disappointing. >> she is probably not alone in that. and more than delegates at stake. there is the momentum that candidate will pick up heading into florida. we are hearing about everybody's plans, rick santorum and all of them. newt gingrich is hoping to bounce back. also in new hampshire as the polls open this morning he was looking ahead to florida's primary winner take all primary. here is what he said. >> with your help today we will win tonight. when we win tonight we will launch the florida campaign. with your help we will win in florida. >> newt gingrich is heading very strong. and the republican national committee stripped half of florida's delegates. remember how this played out after the state party leaders moved it up to january 31.
>> bill: they are playing a major role, too. it forced everybody else to fall in line. the romney and gingrich camp as the race rolls forward. we mentioned earlier that romney's camp is sending an anniversary present marking is a years since his congressional reprimand. gingrich calling romney calling out gingrich with fannie mae and freddie mac. >> he worked for fannie mae and freddie mac. didn't he said he was going to release the information. let's see what he releases on fannie mae and freddie mac. >> jonathan, staff writer for roll call. what is your sense of romney's strategy. is he prepping for a second finish today and stronger tone for florida in ten days? >> sure. you can see him out on the
campaign trail starting to manage eastbound expectations but this is smart move by him to go on offense on the transparency issue. this entire week he has been hurt over his inability to answer the question, why won't you release your tax returns. now, he is going at gingrich, his chief rival and saying, why wouldn't you tell us the details about your relationship with fannie mae and freddie mac. >> bill: what gingrich will say the documents about the reprimand have been public for years. what romney is going to demand is the supporting documents that led up to the investigation. what could be in those papers? one of the things the romney campaign has pointed to resent remarks by nancy pelosi. she kind of seemed to indicate there was some material in the documents that she reviewed at the time. she was on the et cetera ethics committee that looked at his behavior.
there was something in there that might be a surprise in the case if he were gop nominee. the romney campaign has pointed to it. we don't know exactly what is at stake here. gingrich campaign says everything that was in the investigation has been public long ago. >> bill: the outcome of that with gingrich a fine of $300,000 that was paid in the late 1990s. but with the issue of fannie mae and freddie mac, would you demand the release of any contract that was entered what gingrich did. how could that be damaging? >> if you remember there was a notable moment when newt gingrich that he was paid $1.6 million by fannie mae and freddie mac to be a historian. that wasn't a very plausible explanation. he since hedged on that and kind of gone into a little more detail. he has maintained a clear line that he never lobbied for them,
never argued that they should be subsidized more heavily by the federal government. if we were to sign that contract and see -- find that contract and find details he was supposed to lobby for them. >> bill: he advised them on different accounts and they took none of his advice. the other thing that romney indicated he is going to give a major speech on the economy. it would not rebut but prebut the state of union address. you think it would be start move put can the focus on the administration. what would romney say in that would be effective, do you believe? >> politically speaking, this has been the whole campaign. story of the campaign that romney has tried to set himself up as having a battle with president obama, not with the other nominees. that puts him above the fray, as the front-runner he has been
able do that. he is trying to seize on the state of the union to get back some of the momentum that he had coming out of new hampshire. >> bill: part of that speech, according to carl's reporting earlier today, defending free enterprise and not just a hit on the president but also on newt gingrich. we'll await that speech when it comes up in a few days. thanks for coming on. thank you. in a unanimous decision, supreme court rejecting by the redistricting maps drawn up in texas. it favored the minorities and democrats and could influence the balance of power in the house of representatives. doug, this is a big decision. it was one of major supreme court decisions. tell us the significance of all of this. >> reporter: it was a really big deal in what part controls the house of representatives. texas because of tremendous
population growth gained four congressional seats. texas legislature which is controlled by republicans redrew the legislative map to reflected the population growth in a way that also favors republican candidates. after the redrawn maps were challenged in court, a lower court redrew them in a way that favored democratic candidates. republicans appealed and yesterday the supreme court sent the decision back to the lower court indicating it didn't pay enough deference to the legislature. to the extent they succeeded that did no violate the voting acted and substituted -- >> reporter: texas lieutenant governor had this reaction. >> the supreme court's decision validated the fact that this three-judge panel over in san antonio had exceeded the law that they had drawn new maps
that why not consistent with the supreme court decisions and they had not followed the legislature's intent. >> reporter: democratic party of the state of texas issued a statement that said in part, the state's map ignored the demographic realities of texas. supreme court did not approve the state's map. it means the legislature's map and we don't expect they ever will. the high court was purposely very vague in the ruling indicating the lower court should give more weight to the legislature's plan but it didn't say how. >> what is next? >> this is another really key part of that. in order for the texas primary to go on as scheduled on april 3rd, this lower court has to act by next friday, january 27th. it's given no indication it will do so. that has infuriated a lot of texas republicans who fear that the court's lack of urgency will disenfranchise voters. >> doug, thank you so much.
so you know why we're here. coverage of the south carolina republican primary. brett baier and megyn kelly will kick off special programming. that starts at 6:00 p.m. eastern tonight. bill and i will be there, as well. and we'll go into there a winner tonight. >> bill: not allowed to go home until we get a winner. those are the rules. new developments in a hollywood murder investigation. we'll have that for you. >> police identifying the victims, dismembered body was found near the iconic hollywood sign. captain of the cruise ship is also back in the news in italy. he has made a shocking admission. >> bill: how location can make a huge difference in a primary in south carolina. we'll tell you where. >> if people think washington is the answer, someone who spent the great majority of their life
in washington is what we need to change washington, i'll be surprised. when you have tough pain, do you want fast relief? try bayer advanced aspirin. it has microparticles so it enters the bloodstream fast and rushes relief to the site of your tough pain. it's proven to relieve pain twice as fast as before. bayer advanced aspirin.
eastern time later tonight. meanwhile, northeast is dealing with delays after a weekend snowstorm. maria is live at fox extreme weather center. what is going on? >> we have all kinds of weather going in the east. we do want to focus on south carolina, big voting going on today. we do have unfortunately a lot of rain spreading across most of the state. the area shaded in yellow and orange, that is where the heaviest rain coming down, also the red. maybe you have to grab the breal umbrella. we do have a risk of severe weather from some of thunderstorms. there is watch in effect 8:00 p.m. eastern time. southern south carolina and georgia and portions of alabama. few warnings have gone up. what a tornado watch means conditions are favorable for a
thunderstorm that could produce an isolated tornado, damaging wind gusts or large hail. we do have warnings. one in effect in parts of georgia, and houston county. is there could be a tornado currently on the ground. current temperatures in the 60s and 50s. some of these temperatures are 10-15 degrees above what is typical for the month of january. so enjoying the warmth but thunderstorms will continue to head eastward. this evening, they will affect the eastern part of the state, charleston, you will need the umbrella if you around 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. southern parts will get some of that action and by tomorrow severe weather risk in lower mississippi valley and tennessee valley with large hail, damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes possible and some of the snowfall totals, new york
4.3 inches, chicago, 5.44. up to seven inches in parts of new hampshire. and most of it is winding down but pretty significant snow out there. >> bill: that is why they call it winter. maria, thank you. in south carolina, tough weather. thank you, maria. >> martha: fox news alert. death toll rising in italy's cruise ship. you are looking at costa concordia. divers are recovering a body of a woman in a hallway. they have been searching for the remaining passengers, 12 people now confirmed dead and 20 remain missing. captain is now making a stunning admission. amy kellogg is streaming live. tell us about the discovery they made today. have they identified this woman?
>> reporter: they have not. they know she had a life vest on and she was in the corridor which sounds sort of like a place that would have been searched very early on but apparently it was hard to get to and there was lot of debris that could have tripped up on those divers. that explains why it took so long to get to her. they set up explosions that opened up the space and how they got to this woman. family members of the people that are still missing have been coming out looking for answers. it's clear they are starting to really shut down and want to keep to themselves. this is so unbelievably trying. also today, divers picked up personal safe of the captain as well as very critical part of the video camera which would have captured the moments on the bridge when this crash happened. >> martha: you look at this video and you still can't
believe, it's like a movie set. these poor people on this wonderful vacation of their lives for it to end this way for so many is just tragic. now, the captain, amy is speaking out in somewhat different way about this whole thing. >> reporter: yes, in regards what you said about that, people on the island they think it's a nightmare and they think about the people still trapped. the captain getting a lot of attention. italian press as been going very heavy on the leaked transcripts and conversations between the captain and the investigators. captain claims that he called the costa cruise lines right after the ship ran aground. asked for all sorts of help, including a tugboat. said he messed up. this is interesting, said he slipped off the ship. he didn't get into a lifeboat. slipped off the ship and wanted to come back but the coastguard
wouldn't let him. it goes on and on costa cruise lines. >> martha: that doesn't jibe with the 911 call earlier this week. later tonight, geraldo rivera will take an in-depth look. he is hosting a special, tragedy at sea. tune in 10:00 tonight eastern. very interesting information in there from fox news. >> bill: it will be a terrific program. seconds has been waiting for this day. live look inside the polling station, that is colombia, south carolina. what will it take to win? we'll have a look behind the numbers and let you know what we can glean from that, 4:30 in the afternoon. >> martha: plus a big break in the murder mystery that is playing out in the shadow of the hollywood sign. coroners say they know who the
victim is but are police any closer in finding the suspect? >> it's surprising, a nice area from what it looks like. >> this area is creepy when somebody like this -- something like this can happen and you have no idea it's going on. that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. if you took the top down on a crossover? if there were buttons for this? wouldn't it be cool if your car could handle the kids. ♪ ...and the nurbgring?
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state, it's been beautiful here. polls are open for another couple hours. i assume most people have already gone to polls. republicans have been looking for alternatives to mitt romney, all these candidates rise and fall in the process. it looks according to everything leading into the primary --. [ siren ] >> reporter: is newt gingrich, came into the primaries with whole head of steam, leading in several categories leading among republican voters and evangelicals and women. mitt romney maintains the lead among moderates and independents. if newt gingrich has an akick ease he will. it might have been said 30% of the possible voters said they might change their day. >> bill: i'm not sure you are in
new york or charleston. >> they do come by. listen, you have been all over the state in recent days. what is key for you. what are you watching for for tonight? >> reporter: let's give viewers a view. congressional districts in south carolina. mitt romney is to launch a challenge, he has to do very well in the first and second congressional district. that is ore county, myrtle beach down in bufort county. mccain won. mitt romney has to do at least that. third and fourth congressional district, here is what to watch for early returns. mccain managed to pull out a win getting 25 up there. romney is less than that, particularly if he goes less than 20%. it looks like gingrich is blowing him out. that will mean a tough road for mitt romney if he hopes to
snatch a victory which looks like hands of defeat at this point. there are 110,000 voters in anderson greenville and spartanburg. mitt romney wants some of them. listen to what a political strategist had to say about that. >> rich conservative political stays, anderson, spartanburg, greenville those will be critical for romney. if the numbers are low, romney has problems statewide. >> reporter: we'll see what rick santorum does because that is where the conservatives and evangelicals shall. news about santorum, officials from his campaign regardless of what happens tonight, rick santorum is going to stay at least through florida and they are saying beyond. nobody is going to drop out tonight. >> bill: thank you. we'll be in contact with you as well, out of charleston. >> martha: santorum will be
drawing votes from the same pool of conservative voters. there are some they will be looking to split this evening. if santorum finishes third or fourth, might he bail out of resist and you heard john roberts saying the santorum folks that they will keep going after south carolina regardless. joining us who has watched this state. chairman of the south carolina democratic party. dick, welcome, good to have you here. talk to me about the evangelical vote, about 60% of voters declare them as evangelical in south carolina. what is your sense. you see on the ground how they are going to go tonight? >> i think newt gingrich is going to sweep every segment, this is not scientific but talking to a bunch of my friends in south carolina have republican friends. they indicate to me they
indicate to me that the fire in the belly of the visceral feeling you get from watching newt and listening to newt is overwhelming sort of a milk toast approach by romeny's. santorum, while he attempting to get that going hadn't hit these folks. i tell you, based on emotion alone, i think newt will do well and probably better than santorum with the evangelicals. i think romney is whole slew of ads where mitt is looking into the camera telling how pro-choice he is when he was governor of massachusetts. that is not going to sell well with the social conservatives here. >> martha: i think you are hitting on something so significant in south carolina race. we've got articles and notes about how the catholic vote breaks down and the mormon issue in south carolina.
how all these things enter. but it feels like the dynamic is different. and the toughness that gingrich seems to be overwhelming some of these other factors that seem to matter a lot? >> i think you are right. go back to 2000, if you look at george w. bush but back in 2000 in january when he and mccain came here. mccain was favored. mccain looked like the guy, like mitt would look now, the guy with all the credentials and background. w. took him here because people liked him better. they liked george w. bush, he was the guy somebody you had a beer with. they felt like he had some fire in his belly. that is what has happened with newt. i've never seen anything like this. this huge turnaround in a very short period of time. a lot of it due to newt and a
lot of it is mitt's terrible debate and finishing up on thursday night's debate on cnn. >> martha: it's fascinating to watch. some folks think it will be tight. some think newt gingrich could take it by a wider margin. i'm interested in your thoughts on the romney camp apparently sent a cake over to the gingrich campaign to celebrate the anniversary of the ethics investigation into the speaker of the house. we've heard there is a lot of nastiness in south carolina but at a risk of a pun, does that take a cake. [ laughter ] >> we do have, republican primary, a history of nastiness and we've seen some of it. the fake e-mails from cnn talking about newt's first wife had an abortion.
awful stuff. but somebody in the romney campaign has missed the boat. those little gig says not what the public is looking for. it's what newt did to john king on stage on thursday night. i keep hearing about in every coffee shop. i went to a big cocktail party of lawyers. the bar association is here. all they were talking about is how well newt was doing and how bad mitt was doing. most of these folks.... >> martha: i think that fire in the belly issue is extremely important. we'll see how it fares tonight. thanks so much, rick. good to talk to you, sir. thank you. good to talk to you. >> bill: in a moment. we've gone over the story over the past several days. scathing interview by newt gingrich's ex-wife. it's not hurting him with women voters. that, they vote to find out whether it does.
did this exchange actually help his cause. >> i think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to governor this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. to walk like one. when you walk 10,000 steps a day, it's the same as walking a professional golf course. humana. proud supporter of health and well-being.
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>> bill: breaking details, corners identified remains near a world famous hollywood sign. they are still searching for a suspect and motive in this gruesome case. casey stegall is live in l.a. what did they say? >> reporter: was this a crime of passion? that is what is being talked about. some of the local news reports that the victim's boyfriend was being led away in handcuffs. although police are reiterating that no arrests have been made
in this case. it's possible that he was perhaps taken for questioning and later released, but the vick has been identified as this man. of you-year-old herbie, a former life fliert attendant for mexicana airlines. a human head was found wrapped that grocery bag. dogs found the pair of hands and feet. the los angeles coroner's office was able to lift fingerprints from one of hands. this area known as bronson canyon, near the hollywood sign where people go hiking and running among the multimillion dollar homes there. >> it's unfortunate, somebody lost their life. it's too bad. right down the road of hollywood hills. finding body parts. >> there was police activity at a nearby apartment complex where
they believe he lived. they are not saying anything what they found there. >> bill: casey stegall on that story live in los angeles. >> martha: the economy and the big tea party movement both played a major role in south carolina's primary years back. what about today? a major influence now as it was? coming up right ahead. stick around. we'll be rig back.
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to take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary, a significant question in a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything i can imagine. >> martha: that is moment that will live on in debate history. i have a feeling that came about as a recent interview with the ex-wife of presidential candidate newt gingrich. and the negative impact and story coming out that many expected it would in today's primary in south carolina. in fact the recent numbers show that newt gingrich actually is faring very well with the women
voters in the pametto state. susan estrich is professor of law of southern california and fox news contributor is here. good to have you with us. in some ways, they saw it this is really going to hurt him. >> i don't know who they are. i think newt played it just right in the short run. you always attack the messenger in a case like this. attacking the quote liberal media in a state like south carolina and the republican primary is the smart move. suggesting that he is the victim is the smart move. sitting here as a democrat, i couldn't be more delighted. i think in the long run, it's going to hurt him. not because people are going to be concerned about his personal life, but because it the kind of hypocrisy in having a relationship, an extramarital
relationship with a woman that worked at the house and the same time seeking impeachment of the president of the united states for a woman that worked for him. >> martha: so its short run game for him because that moment worked so well for him. he talked about the fire in the belly issue that is resonating so strongly with south carolina voters. that newt has that and perhaps they are thinking that other people don't. in the short run, that answer was such a home run, that is most foremost in people's minds today? >> i think that is absolutely right. it just so happened to coincide with romney running into problems on taxes. i only made $375,000 giving speeches. woe is me. only 375. newt has looking good in south
carolina. if you talk to any honest democrat, they will tell you newt is carrying a lot of baggage, not just the personal stuff but some of his ideas are brilliant. >> martha: democrats would be very happy if he won in south carolina tonight? >> very happy. republicans are saying, he couldn't get out of a paper bag. i don't need to say it. >> martha: susan, great to see you. look for your column, susan estrich joining us today. bill --. >> bill: two hours until the polls close. take you to the touch screen billboard in a moment. knowing that i could smoke during the first week was really important to me. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke -- and personally that's what i knew i needed. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior,
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>> martha: hello, everybody i'm martha mccallum, welcome to a brand new hour inside america's news head quarters. >> on a saturday, good afternoon to you, it is a big and important day, one that will tell us quite a bit about the race in south carolina, deciding the fate of who will take the first in the south primary, we're live all over the state throughout the next hour. >> martha: a whole new part of the nation, and important when it comes to elections and this, also on the radar today, another body has been pulled from wreckage on the costa concordia.
we have live coverage from the scene and we'll hear from judge jeanine pirro who has interesting thoughts on that. >> i guess you can guess on the weather. we thought we'd escape this one and mother nature finally sending the white stuff in the northeast, on the ground now and we have the latest forecast from the extreme weather center. don't move from there. >> martha: the polls are open and the south carolina show down is underway, they are closing less than two hours from now, the palmetto state hosting one of the most bruising presidential primaries, the mud sh has been slinging and newt gingrich surging in the polls, over the course of the last 3-4 days an mitt romney, meanwhile, says he acknowledges the race tightened and he says he's optimistic, though and rick santorum and ron paul hoping to pull off an upset or put in a
positive enough performance for them to keep going and you can see the baby-hugging with ron paul this afternoon as well and they are making pitches to the undecided voters in these final moments and our chief political correspondent, carl cameron soaking it up in columbia, south carolina and it is a bit wet today as well. carl, you know, do you think the rain has been chance of dampening the turnout or are the folks fired up enough? >> reporter: it will have an effect in some parts of the state and the rain was pretty harsh in a number of times, we were driving back from the up-state and there were cars an accidents all over the highways. and that will affect the turnout. we've heard from the lowcountry and they said it is steady and some places it was sparse and some people said it is heavy turnout and it will have an effect and that only adds to the uncertainty, as we hit primary day in south carolina. all the polls suggested that as many as 30 to 40% could change
their minds or were undecided and you add to that a little bit of rain and it could be a nail-biter. we still have an hour left beer the -- two hours left before the polls close and folks will be heading to the polls. it could go late tonight, south carolina is not known for late turnouts but this has been so close, and so topsy-turvy in the last week, as they say, anything can happen. >> martha: it has the feel to it, as we head into the important hours of the evening, newt gingrich, has been very optimistic about how he is going to do in south carolina, and he said if he wins, he will be the nominee, a few months back he liked where he was in the polls and made similar predictions, and it kind of hurt him. what are the challenges for him, ahead, tonight? >> reporter: well, there are plenty. obviously he has gotten through a couple of rough days on the campaign trail in south carolina but it's not the last of the issues he has been successfully defending himself against. in large measure with the attacks on the media the last few days. they will not go away and another big challenge is the
money and organization necessary to continue on in big states as the race goes multi-state. not too long from now. and he was up beat and boys truss today, at one point showed up at a chick-fil-a and, was waiting on people through the window, to give you be a idea how excited he is at the prospect of pulling off the come-from-behind win and newt gingrich, challenges aplenty and, it looks like he can win and could pull it off if it goes accord to his plan, the key is the up state, the bastions of south carolina where he needs the vote to come out big and by contrast, mitt romney is looking for votes in the low-country, moderate and affluent parts of the state and it could, again, be a photo-finish with the two parts of the date dueling behind gingrich and mitt romney. not to leave out ron paul an rick santorum, santorum will campaign in other states and he said he's building his national campaign to overcome the challenges newt gingrich is about to face, too.
>> martha: he said he's there for the long haul, not long ago newt gingrich was behind in the south carolina polls and then he was ahead and it is not something he put in his calculus as an absolute win in south carolina for mitt romney, came in 4th the last time around. so, if he has a set back tonight, how big of a deal will it be for his campaign? >> reporter: well the first thing they'll say, trying to find silver linings in the rain clouds over columbia today, yes, he came in 4th and got 15% of the vote against john mccain and he'll get substantially more and is likely to come in first or second and obviously will say there is improvement there and, mitt romney has been very conscientious about his overall strategy for the year and he said from the outset he was not sure he'd compete aggressively to win in iowa and now we know he didn't and rick santorum did and he made the claim a number of times he says prepared to lose a couple-few states, if south carolina is the first one of that, mitt romney will chalk it up to the political
necessity, traditionally, that every candidate has to take a pounding and come back from it. mitt romney has taken a pounding all year long but never has been out of the front-runner status. if he loses south carolina, tonight, we will have a whole new dynamic, it was two weeks ago, folks said he could run the table and win the first three and end it quickly, now, instead, we are looking at rick santorum won iowa and mitt romney won new hampshire and the real possibility newt gingrich would win south carolina and meaning each candidate can claim a victory heading into florida, which a different set of demographics and will be a huge test for all four candidates regardless. romney and newt gingrich have all kinds of new challenges, first thing tomorrow morning. >> martha: carl, thank you so much. carl cameron reporting from south carolina. and, there are new calls for mitt romney to release his tax returns, this time, from some of his own supporters and he said he plans to release those documents, he won't say exactly when, or how far back he's willing to go, he talked about
april, at some point in the conversation and it may be april, he let the governor of south carolina, nikki haley defend him on the topic and here's what she said: >> all the issue about the tax returns, she's doing it and will do it in april and, we'll see if he was successful and paid on time and at the rate she was supposed to, and what i'll tell you is we have other candidates who don't want to show things. >> martha: neil cavuto is fox news senior vice president of business news and anchor of "your world". good to see you. happy saturday. tell us about the tax return issue. it has been dogging him over the course of the last week and a lot of folks said he should have been more prepared with a really clean-cut answer on that. and now we know he has a big speech coming out on the economy. right around the time of the state of the union. how much of an issue is it for him? >> he made it one, unnecessarily, because there is nothing unusual about waiting until april and most candidates
wait until april and certainly most republican candidates, ronald reagan did, george bush did, i think both the bushes did. and, i think john mccain did the same think. but i think what has drawn particular attention to mitt romney is he didn't have a quick response to it and obviously the differentiator with the governor is he is so incredibly rich and the richer you are, and, especially, given the controversy, dare i say needlessly over his bain capital days it has added to the drama around, gee, why aren't you releasing that and what are you hiding and what do you mean, you were paying at the low rate? and it gets to be too complicated and maybe he figured, carl cameron's point, with you guys, after running the table and wrapping it up, april is a perfectly fine time to release things and now he's under pressure to get it out sooner rather than later and i suspect that is what he'll do.
>> martha: it is interesting, it always seems to be how you handle it, not necessarily that it's an issue. how you handle it and you make great points in terms of, if he had come out and said, yeah, i'm doing it in april. that is what i'll do and move on to the next question and the other thing that came to my mind, all the warren buffett stuff came out and the president talked about warren buffett and his tax rate and what his secretary paid, it was an opportunity perhaps for mitt romney, who had to have known in his heart of hearts when he heard that, gee, that is the same rate i pay and will come up down the road. maybe that was not an opportunity for them to get out in front of the issue and say, yes, that is what i pay as well. and tax reform is extremely important to me. i mean, was it a missed opportunity. >> you know, we don't know how south carolina is going to go. let's say he loses the state tonight. i think people will do this monday morning quarterbacking, quite deservedly so, did he play it too safe, was he too cautious, did he avoid trying to get in front of something when
he saw no need to, because no one was in front of him? obviously, everything will change, if that were the case. i do think, the tax return thing is much ado about nothing and he releases it and it is out there and people realize, shock of shocks, "fox news alert," he's a veries very rich guy and has money all over the globe and they'll go into that and it will be a one-day event. having said that, though, i think the bain capital thing will come back and money has more lasting effect here. i'm not sure, necessarily, negative, if he gets in front of that and he'll have to make a better gauge of private capital and what he did and turning companies around, and handsomely profited off of it, he saved and created a lot of jobs and can argue those that resulted in shuttering factories and laying off some people, the greater good was they saved the greater companies, and after all he did
id with private money which sure as heck beats using taxpayer money and keep in mind the president said in rescuing gm and chrysler, martha, as you often reported there was not going to be a need to shut those factories and lay off a lot of people. we had, essentially, both of those cases, huge taxpayer financed bailouts, and chapter 11 bankruptcy, the difference being funded by us and governor romney could say, that was your money, doing this, with still mixed results, look at what my private money did, with very, very clear results. at least it should be -- it might be too little, too late but i suspect that he regrets having not made a more compelling case. >> martha: it looks like they are working on something next week, the state of the union, to try to resurrect the issues and nail them in a really positive way in terms of an embracing of capitalism in a way that resonates with all of the regular folks and all the folks out there. neil, thank you so much. we're going to see how that
goes. thanks, neil. >> thank you. >> martha: he covers the primary tonight on the fox business network, and, a great line-up tonight, make sure to stay on the fox news channel and the fox business channel, watch the coverage tonight. thanks, to neil. >> where are the votes in south carolina in 2012? on the touch-screen billboard behind us? a reminder from the results four years ago you had 450,000 in south carolina, participating in this primary and we can look back to 2008, and remind you with the finish, john mccain, three points over huckabee and fred thompson got 70,000 votes four years ago and 16% of the vote and we'll see whether or not somebody like hucky and thompson, who split though vote four years ago, whether or not it happens again today. so, on the map here, you can see a couple of key areas, where most of the votes are found in south carolina. this is the i-20 corridor, in the center part of the state,
the midlands, aiken county and borders with georgia, lexington county and also, into richmond county, where the capital city of columbia is found. mccain won all three of those counties, four years ago, and again they make up 20% of the vote today, in south carolina. another area where you will find many, many votes, greenville/spartanburg area, in what they call the bible belt section of south carolina. greenville county, four years ago, went for huckabee by a shade over john mccain and look where thompson came in. all of those votes taken away from huckabee for the evangelical vote, four years ago, greenville county and similar story in spartanburg county, huckabee a winner, thompson 20% an allowed john mccain to pick up, well, finish second place there, in the county. if santorum and gingrich split the vote today it will be good
news for the romney team and where will mitt romney need to do well today? these coastal areas, where john mccain really cleaned up four years ago, in the area, a lot of ex-military, northerners, who are transplants down in south carolina, here in the low country, this is charleston county, john mccain got 44% of the vote. easily taking the area four years ago. and up here in the east, this is myrtle beach, the grand strand, fox news had a debate there, this past monday night. john mccain easily won the county with 33% of the votes. but this is an area that has been racked by the economy and the economy you will soon find out is a big, big deal in south carolina. if romney will have a big night tonight, look for these key counties, see if he matches john mccain's vote total from fours ago or whether or not he adds to it. the ultimate number and means everything in south carolina. this is the economic landscape, now, for the palmetto state. keep the number in mind.
unemployment, statewide, 9.9%. it has been at or around 10% for three years and counting. and that leaves many people to think about whether or not the economy and jobs will ever improve or how long it will take or who the right person is to fix the economy and also, the strength of the tea party, in south carolina. has been enormous, because of issues like that, the economy and 9.9%, unemployment. watch those keys as we move throughout the night tonight, here on fox. >> martha: the extreme weather alert coming at you right now, the northeast getting hit with a major winter storm today. snowplows out in full force, across new york city, right outside our windows here and in philadelphia, and boston, all of these areas, really haven't had any snow at all, finally got hit. trying to clear the roadways out there, for drivers and pedestrians and for many, this is really the first sign of real winter that we have seen around here, meteorologist maria molina
joins us from the fox weather center. hi. >> good to see you on a saturday and you are right. many areas finally getting significant snowfall out there. look at some of these totals, up to a foot fell across parts of connecticut, 9.5 in shelton, connecticut and parts of jersey, 7 inches, west milford and central park, 4.3 inches of snow and a year ago we already picked up 30 inches of snow in central park. so, a big difference from what we saw last knew yenew year, li snow showers across portions of eastern massachusetts and across the cape, but, generally speaking, most of it is done and we had light, freezing drizzle across the philadelphia area and the d.c./baltimore area and proved treacherous for drivers out there and, fortunately is done with and as we head south this is where we have a lot of activity ongoing and we have tracked the line of storms,
across georgia, alabama, and now pushing through parts of south carolina, and most of the western part of that state has already cleared out and now we're looking at the heavier rain across eastern parts of the state and if you are headed out to vote, still have a little more than an hour to go, you need to grab your umbrella, otherwise, tornado watch in effect, some of the thunderstorms could produce severe weather and, the tornado watch means conditions are favorable for thunderstorms to form that could produce isolated tornadoes and damaging wind gusts and large hail and the yellow boxes, is where we do have severe thunderstorm warnings where some of the storms could produce large hail or damaging winds, not really look at a tornado risk out there. otherwise, current temperatures across south carolina, in the 50s, 60s, mild weather for the month of january and these folks in the south. temperatures are about 10 degrees above normal for this time of the year and as we head into tomorrow we'll keep a very active weather pattern for the nation and see another storm system impact parts of the tennessee and lower mississippi
valley with potential severe weather and large hail and damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes, possible again, and out west, guys we have had a lot of moisture, a number of winter storm warnings, winter weather advisories, and winter storm watches, basically, from the cascades and eastward through the rockies and we are seeing winter weather and we really need it and, we'll be in a snow drought especially for california, getting much needed moisture out. martha? >> martha: good news for the ski slopes, too. maria, thank you very much. >> woefully necessary, too, right? voters out in force in south carolina, which issues are most important to folks there in the state this year? back in 2008, senator john mccain walked away with a big victory down there. whose message resonates tonight? >> thank you, south carolina, for bringing us across the finish line first in the first in the south primary... [cheers and applause] wake up!
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have a ways to go and there are tough contests ahead and starting tomorrow in the state of florida, we'll win, my friends, i me, i know and you know we are facing challenging economic times. and we must be responsive to the concerns of americans, who feel they are being left behind in the global economy but nothing is inevitable in our country. >> four years ago, and, what john mccain is talking about there, is since 1980 south carolina, whomever wins the primary, has gone onto be the eventual nominee. things have gotten worse in that state since john mccain made the statement. the economy has been racked, the tea party movement has sprung out of south carolina and how big of a role is the economy playing with voters in south carolina. doug schoen, former pollster for president clinton and fox news contributor and is in miami, lucky you, doug and roy murdoch, "national review" on-line contributing editor, roy, good afternoon to you as well, and
expectation, what do you expect in south carolina today? >> i think you will see people turning out really focused on one thing, getting this economy moving, and not just in south carolina, which has a 9.9% unemployment rate but coast-to-coast and republicans are eager to send barack obama back to chicago to start his personal library and i think it will be a great educational -- >> who do you believe wins the primary? >> newt gingrich has tremendous momentum, the issue of his marital situation, a lot of people thought it would bring him down and he's only surged since then and people looked at the experience of help man cain and bill clinton situation and john edwards situation and maybe sort of expect is that a our political leaders will not be quite as well behaved as we might like. >> what do you think, doug, who wins today? >> i think the momentum is with newt gingrich and every poll i have seen has shown him 5, 6 points ahead as of yesterday and what we have seen in these prior contests, so far, bill is the
candidate with momentum tends to surge at the end and there is clear evidence, with the economy being the preeminent issue and, mitt romney having stumbled on issues with his taxes and bain capital as you suggested before, i think this is likely to be newt gingrich tonight. >> for the sake of the conversation, gentlemen, let's assume that is the case, what happens going into florida then. >> people have big questions about him, whether he is a conservative, whether he really is, given his record and past statements and he couldn't handle a simple thing, well i'll either release my records and be transparent and get the issue behind him or say it's a private affair, i don't want to talk about that and make that kind of a decision but he says i'll hang onto my record for 2 months and release them in april, after other primaries have gone on, it reinforces the notion he's up
age to co-- unable to come up with a clear and -- >> it is clear romney will sharpen the elbows, regardless of what happens tonight will make a speech around the state of the union talking about the economy and hitting on obama and newt gingrich. and he's going to issue a demand to newt gingrich, to release these documents, that led up to the fine he paid for an ethics violation, in the late 1990s and hit him on fannie mae and freddie mac. this couldn't be any sharper, 1% for santorum and 1 in new hampshire and one, possibly today for gingrich. >> and, he should say, i make a lot of money, i pay taxes and hire people and pay to charities. end. >> the problem he has in the short-term, is that if he does what deroy is suggesting and in the long term he has to do that but the short interpreter there
is n -- term, there is not enough time and, he has to raise questions about gingrich, bottom line, if he doesn't win florida his candidacy is in real jeopardy. >> he lost to john mccain, but got 31% of the state, and john mccain, 35, 36, to take first place and here's the big issue in south carolina. a poll in december they found more than half of those people in the poll believed that government spending is issue number one today. that is in a state with 10% unemployment. who wins that debate, between newt gingrich, mitt romney, santorum and paul? >> now, newt gingrich is winning among tea party voters in the most -- an the most conservative voters and the fear romney has is, if it translates as we have been saying, as a victory for newt gingrich, the florida lead, double-digit, will collapse, the gallup numbers yesterday suggested tightening nationally, and, there could be momentum that would hurt mitt romney, why the speech is planned and a full-throttle attack on former
speaker gingrich. >> that will come in the coming days and as for tonight, deroy, who wins the argument about government spending? ron paul? is that where he finds his strength. >> he handles that particular issue very very, well and i think reflects the views of a lot of republicans and conservatives on spending. unfortunately, you have embodied in ron paul sort of steve forbes economic policy and foreign policy of jane fonda and it sound like, some sort of, you know, almost a u.s. out of everywhere but the u.s. policy and that scares away a lot of people, who otherwise support him. >> we're an hour-and-a-half away from poll closings and will have complete coverage throughout the night in real time. gentlemen, thanks to both of you. 28 minutes past. martha? >> martha: another story. major developments out of italy, as divers search for survivors of the tragic cruise ship crash. and the discovery today, sad discovery, of a woman's body, in a corridor in that ship has now brought the death toll there to
12. and now the ship's captain is starting to make admissions in all of this. he said he, quote, messed up and the investigation continues today. amy kellogg streaming live from giglio island, italy. joins me now. amy, good afternoon to you, good evening. >> reporter: hi, martha. well it has been days since the body was discovered, so, this was big news here on giglio today, the body of a woman, wearing a life vest and she was in difficult to access corridor and 20 people are still missing and the families keep coming out to the island hoping for some sort of news. including family members of the only american couple among the missing, a retired couple from minnesota taking a cruise of a lifetime. so, also, today, martha, the safe, the captain's personal property on the ship was recovered and investigators have said all along that that would
be a quite crucial part of their investigation and, part of the video camera from the bridge, of course, there are so many questions about what exactly happened, at the time of the crash. including a lot of speculation about this woman from moldova who used to be a crewmember and maybe was a guest of the captain, possibly on the ship this time. so, those were the major developments today. but, then, the italian press was very much buzzing with these leaked transcripts of conversations between the captain and the investigator in which he was that, yes, he messed up, but that he says he called the costa cruise line right after the accident, to explain what had happened, and, asked for all sorts of help. and, also, said that he didn't tell passengers what happened, because he didn't want to cause a panic and costa cruise lines not commenting on any of that explosive information this evening. >> martha: thank you very much.
>> back to south carolina, voters heading to the polls, they have been out since earlier this morning, why this zip code where they live may influence whom they vote for, live from charleston, right after this. okay, team! after age 40, we can start losing muscle -- 8% every 10 years. wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time.
>> they are voting now in south carolina, who they pick may depends on whpart of the state e voters call home, different areas favor a different type of candidate, a broader state, 400,000, 450,000 votes cast today, john roberts back with us live in charleston, watching things from there. hello again. >> good evening to you, bill. look at the three distinct regions of south carolina you have the coastal area, lowcountry where we are here in charleston and the hilton head island, which tends to be republicans, fiscal conservatives and more moderate than further up state and you have midmidlands, the area of columbia and the swath of
conservative voters to the east of that and the top, where your evangelicals and social conservatives are centered, your bible belt. now, i talked to a lot of undecided voters here in charleston over the last little while and they've looked for an alternative to mitt romney, over the last few months and seem to have found it inu newt gingrich and, electability was the big issue with them and, he came into today's primary with a huge head of steam, leading among several critical electoral dream graphics and republican party members an evangelicals, tea party members and women and if he had any weakness going in today, and we don't know at this point, 35% of people said, come election day, i may change my mind. we talked about what newt gingrich needed to do, he needs to rack up votes along the lowcountry and the coast and then needs go after the evangelicals in the north.
here's sekendra stewart a political science professor with the college of charleston. >> he needs to move the evangelical christians who were luke warm on gingrich over to his camp and i think he's hoping his endorsement by perry and by pail palin will have a bill credibility with the group. >> as a point of reference, bill you did this a few minutes ago, put up the map from '08 and the primary, john mccain narrowly defeated mike huckabee and john mccain in red and huckabee in purple and they split the state in half and john mccain took everything to the south and huckabee to the north and there is a chance, because newt gingrich not only appeals to the social conservatives, but also to fiscal conservatives in the south, that he could broaden out his color, i don't want to say that he could take over the whole state, but, we could see a whole different electoral map come later on this evening than we saw in '08, bill, no question about it, though, the race got up-ended earlier this week and the dynamic completely changed. >> and we'll see how it plays out in real time as we said
earlier. thank you, john. john roberts, live in charleston and we have 20 minutes away from the coverage of the primary, bret and megan will be here, and check out fox news sunday, mitt romney and john boehner talk to chris wallace, tomorrow on fox news sunday. martha? >> martha: back to italy now, he is becoming one of the most infamous men in the country, the captain of the wrecked cruise ship is admitting to some extent that he messed up in his handling of all of this. >> and how much trouble is he in and what about the company that owns the ill fated ship? judge jeanine pirro is on deck, right here. capital one's new cash rewards card
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captain of a capsized cruise liner has summed up his role in a crash that has killed at least 12 people. 20 are still missing." i messed up" they're words we'-- are the words we're talking about and one more body was been recovered and we're learning more about exactly what happened as the ship was going down, and the passengers were on board. how much trouble is this captain in? and he has been under house arrest and what about the cruise ship and the company that owns it, judge jeanine pirro, host of "justice with judge jeanine" and the story is frightening and you have all the people on the cruise of their lives, they were happy and to have it end this way. >> you know, it is out of a movie. if you saw titanic or poseidon adventure you know the lights are out and people are screaming and there is chaos and you have the ship basically tilted over and people crawling on their
knees on the walls, dishes hitting people in the head. this is a nightmare and the issue is what do the passengers get as a result of their being on the cruise ship? and, obviously you have all of the problems with the families of the victims who are dead and the liability issue, the issue as we continue to hopefully, you know, fine people who are still missing but the liability issue what is the lawyers are cooking on now. >> martha: how much does he -- how much trouble is he in for admitting now that he messed up and you heard the tapes and the coast guard yelled at him... >> to get back on the ship. >> martha: and now he says i asked the coast guard and they said not to get back on the ship and we heard him say, it is dark and i don't want to go back. >> there is a contradiction in what the captain said, several days ago, we heard they were yelling at him and today, he said i called them immediately and told them we needed helicopters and tug boats and
that is hog work, and i'll tell you why, the pass years said there was no orderly evacuation. what does it tell you? he has something to hidand he's also facing manslaughter charges as you well know and now, as we look at the liability, you will have the cruise ship people saying, wait, this guy, you know, the captain is the reason why the ship sank, it is not us... >> i don't know how they'll get away with that. >> they'll say he was acting outside the scope of his employment and -- >> martha: they hired him and put him in charge. >> and they can prove he did it in august and, once that is a matter of record, they know that he went outside of what she should be doing for whatever reason, whether ego or to impress the chiquita banana he was with, and, though she says she wasn't having an affair of h him, he was known to do it,
carnival and costa concordia and the question is if you bought a ticket are you limited by the liability of the ticket and do you have to sue in italy and we have u.s. lawyers saying we'll sue in miami and carnival, because they do business in the united states, though it didn't touch the shores of the u.s., what we have is a parents company, that knew that he was a wrongdoer and had gone outside of the scope before. >> martha: quickly, if you can, manslaughter charges for this gentleman, whose picture we are looking at now, is that separate, can they go after both? >> yes. >> martha: the company and the captain and, criminal charges for the captain, perhaps and civil charges against the ship. >> you are absolutely right. the fact that he may be ultimately convicted of manslaughter does not mean the ship and the parent company carnival will not be responsible liability-wise and financially for the trauma. not just the families of the victims who died, but, think about the psychological trauma these people are suffering, loss
of wages and injuries, and it is a nightmare, it isn't a hundred years ago with the titanic, these people had all the technology they needed and, by the way, never should have happened. >> martha: they should have been able to get off safely. and you will talk about this tonight and over the course of this weekend and geraldo. >> he has a great report on it tonight and i'll talk about this as well as south carolina tonight at 9:00. >> martha: we'll see what time we all have the answer to that one. right? thanks and great to see you. >> thanks. >> martha: more of judge jeanine pirro, her show is airing then and right after that, her rager will be hosting "tragedy at sea". >> and based on what we are hearing from exit polling... >> martha: it is interesting. >> you will boogie upstairs and
we'll see you live in 12 minutes an moment, is mitt romney about to seal the deal and will someone like newt gingrich steal the show. >> we're minutes away from the results and, who would the democrats like to see win. debbie wasserman schultz is my guest, next. across the golden state, where everyone has been unbelievably nice. mornin'. i guess i'm helping them save hundreds on car insurance.
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>> republican primary voters in south carolina making their voices heard and in just about an hour from now the polls will close there. but, this at times bruising republican primary may go on for some time, based on the results that we do not know at the moment. and sarah palin talked about that. sean hannity a few days ago. >> i want to see this thing continue, because iron sharpens iron and steel sharpens steel and these guys are getting better in their debates and more concise and grounded and articulating what their ideas are to get the country back on the right track and americans working again. >> what about the whole perspective now? florida congresswoman, debbie wasserman schultz is with me now. the chair of the democratic national committee and has been camped out in south carolina, iowa and new hampshire, too, thanks for your time. >> good day to you, bill.
>> what do you think happens if the republican race is extended? do you think it is good for republicans as sarah palin argues. >> i think with every passing primary and every passing debate, republicans have given americans an opportunity to see how extreme they are and the whole field spent the entire primary trying to out right-wing each other and that is why mitt romney dropped precipitously in national polls with moderates and independents and when it comes to making sure there is someone in the white house, standing up for the middle class and working families, we have got that president, barack obama and, during the whole primary process, the republican field demonstrated... >> but you know... >> people who are already doing well. >> you know what primaries are all about. whether it is democrat or republican. >> sure. >> you know, they are shooting for the base, as you well know. do you believe the extended primary season in '08, did it make barack obama a better
candidate? did it make hillary clinton a better candidate? was it good for the democratic party then? >> well, i think that this particular primary process is going to cause the republicans some problems. because the more they expose themselves to the general election, population, the more concerned those voters are going to be. because they demonstrate time and again that they care about making sure that they deny tax cuts extension for example to 116 160 americans and want to end, coming into florida, support ending medicare as we know it and... >> more than ten days from -- i'm sorry for the interruption but that wasn't the question, the question is whether barack obama and hillary clinton became better candidates an reflecting on the possibility, if the current race is extended does it make mitt romney or santorum or newt gingrich better candidates
themselves. simple question. >> they did and i gave you a simple answer, they did become better candidates. i think in the republican field's case, because they are so extreme and because they are hugging the right, and have embraced the tea party extremism, the more that all voters see how extreme they are, the more damage this is going to do to them because ultimately there will be a dramatic contrast come the general election, one-on-one, between barack obama, who has been up there fighting for the middle class and working families and fighting to get or economy turned around and make sure that the make or break moment for the middle class, and the economy works for everyone and, the republicans continue to demonstrate through their primary process, they care about one thing, about one job, barack obama's, and, democrats are out there fighting for american jobs. the primary process is hurting them. >> there will be a few things that barack obama is going to have to defend every day. and that is 8.5% unemployment and the $15 trillion debt that is going to increase yet again.
>> come on, bill. >> critical issues as we get into the general election. >> let's keep in mind, 22 straight months of private sector job growth when barack obama took office the economy was bleeding 750,000 jobs a month and three years later because of his policies and because he rescued the american automobile industry and mitt romney would have let it go back to -- >> and those are the issues to be -- >> tax rates, 95% of americans. >> apologize another interruption. it will not end pretty because we'll be cut off and we'll talk again down the road. >> no problem. >> debbie wasserman schultz, and we have to run, everybody, bret and megan are up in a moment, four minutes away and we'll get early results based on exit polling with martha and i'll be on the touch-screen, check us out on america's newsroom, 9:00 a.m., every day. your own. that's a big accomplishment to me. i don't know how much money i need. but i know that whatever i have
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